San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey got his first taste of the big game in Super Bowl XXXIII.
Now, 25 years later, the MVP candidate is hoping to help lead the Niners to their first crown since 1995.
When McCaffrey was just two years old, he witnessed his father (Ed McCaffrey) and the Denver Broncos win their second consecutive Super Bowl in January 1999, defeating the Atlanta Falcons, 34-19. The now-55-year-old finished the contest tied for the team high in targets (seven) and receptions (five) for 72 yards.
The senior McCaffrey served as one of the favorite targets for John Elway at the end of the Hall of Fame quarterback’s career from 1995-98, before capping off his trio of best seasons in 1999 and 2000. McCaffrey earned his lone Pro Bowl honor in 1998 with a career-best 10 touchdown catches, had his second straight 1,000-yard season in 1999 and posted career highs in targets (149), receptions (101) and receiving yards (1,317) during the 2000 campaign.
The wideout was ironically led by Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan during his entire career in Denver from 1995-2003. Shanahan’s son is current San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan.
In another piece of irony, the older McCaffrey’s final season before joining the Broncos was spent with the 49ers in 1994, when they earned their last title in Super Bowl XXIX against the San Diego Chargers. That was also Mike Shanahan’s final year as San Francisco’s offensive coordinator.
Outside of McCaffrey, that Niners unit included Hall of Fame signal-caller Steve Young, Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice and Hall of Fame defensive back/wideout Deion Sanders.
Fans in the Bay area now get to cheer for another star McCaffrey, plus a stellar supporting cast featuring quarterback Brock Purdy, tight end George Kittle and wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel.